You will no longer be able to schedule your next delivery of marijuana using your Android smartphone. Google has added marijuana to its list of restricted content on the Play Store, meaning apps that offer delivery services for the psychoactive drug will soon be banned from its platform.
The ban applies to all jurisdictions, regardless of the legality of marijuana in a particular state. The company's updated policies state the following on the matter:
We don't allow apps that facilitate the sale of marijuana or marijuana products, regardless of legality.
Here are some examples of common violations:
- Allowing users to order marijuana through an in-app shopping cart feature.
- Assisting users in arranging delivery or pick up of marijuana.
- Facilitating the sale of products containing THC.
The two most prominent apps in the space are Weedmaps and Eaze, and both risk facing a ban if their apps are not updated within 30 days to remove any aspects enabling the sale of marijuana. Google has also released a statement regarding compliance with its policies, and how apps like Weedmaps can remain on the Play Store in light of the changes:
These apps simply need to move the shopping cart flow outside of the app itself to be compliant with this new policy. We've been in contact with many of the developers and are working with them to answer any technical questions and help them implement the changes without customer disruption."
This could mean that the apps would still be able to promote marijuana and possible even allow you to book deliveries, as long as the developers ensure that the actual sale process is redirected to the browser, for example. What the specifics of the solution are will probably become clearer in the next few weeks as the developers of affected apps update their wares.
The move coincides with updates to the company's Play Store policies to make it safer for children.